Friday, January 19, 2007

My First Caricatures

Marco Bratt is the man who I turn to when I need ink etched under my skin in elaborate Japanese designs. In the way I am the man he turns to when he needs any illustration and or dsign work done. Usually things like t-shirts, flyers and stickers; promotional stuff. The same with the latest assignment a t-shirt with a caricatue of him and his two buddies, Travis and Paul (who he shares his shop with) on the front of it.
The thing is I have never really done any caricatures before. Not on purpose anyway (I did a drawing once of a guy who, in the right light, looked like the late great Pope John Paul II). But I never back down from a challenge so I said "Sure! No problem at all!" And hit the pencils and pads as soon as I got home.
Then nothing really came out for about a month or two, plus I had to do it in between other projects because I had said I was going to do it for free. Every once in a while I would get back to it, but nothing would come out really.
Untill about a week or so ago. I was checking out a few blogs, one I check regularly Chris Wahl's and also Wouter Tulp's and Greg McCullough's blogs in parcticular. These guys are just plain geniusseses at it. So I was looking at their work and I was looking at the photographs I had of my subjects and it just sort of seemded to click. Then the drawings just fell out of my pencil.

The thing I found hard to decide on was which bit of the face to exagorate and which parts to keep (kind of) realistic. Especially for Marco's face, since he doesn't really have any one very 'obivous' feature, like a nose or eyes or whatever.
First I made his mouth and jaw bigger then the rest, but that wasn't it. Then I tried the same thing with his forehead. Still no success. But then the coin dropped, it had to be both... his obvious thing was that he just has a big head.

With Travis aand Paul the fact that I had their faces on 3/4 view helped a lot. Then it's just easier to have feature stick out of shrinck in more. I gave Travis' eyes a bit more of a relaxed look because in the final composition (they are all going to be combined into one piece) he'll be holding a spliff (something he only likes to do in his spare time I hasten to add). Paul will be holgin a dirty spattering tattoo machine (because doesn't use a foot switch but has his machine on constant current he makes a bit of a mess of his work station, his clothes and himself... but not his art though! Marco by the way willl be giving us the finger, something that best suits his personality....

...and Paul

This really made me respect the guys who can just do this at first glance. I really have to study the face and then think and sketch and decide and then slowly I come to something that comes to a recognisable (because there-in lies the trick) caricature.
As I said these are the first ones I've ever done so I don't know how the seasoned caricature pros do it, but although it took me some time, I'm quite happy with the results.
If any of you pros out there read this I would very much appredicate comment and or critiques.

I'll show the inkings and the development of the rest of the thing (as I wrote above: they'll all be combined into one piece) in future postings. Keep 'em peeled.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Movin' and shakin'... well movin' anyway

Times they are a-changing. And if not the times then certainly the addresses.
Me and the missus have decided to move to Amsterdam. Sick of commuting (my girlfriend works in Amsterdam) and always up for a new challenge we decided to move to the capital.
The big move will be in February and since I work from home, my business is moving too. Although I won't be working from home after the move. Anyway I thought I might as well tell my clients about it, so I decided to have a nice card printed to send 'round.
Coming up with an original 'concept' prooved to be quite tricky. I mean what about 'moving' hasn't been said about a million times before. And when it started to take a bit too much time I just went with looks instead of brains.

The look I wanted was sort of grubby or 'industrial' or D.I.Y.-ish even. So the color-scheme was easily decided. Red and yellow. Nice and loud. I also wanted the inking of the illustration on the front to be a bit more 'free' or more sketchy then what I ususally do. I've been trying to loosen up my brush inks and I thought this a good opportunity to practice.

In addition to the loose inking I decided to also have coloring a bit more 'freehand' the what I usually do (color it in Illustrator using paths). So I drew and inked the shading on paper firstthen scanned it and left is as it was, so no tidying up.

For the background of the truck I did a pattern made up of bolts (get it?) combined a big splotch of shading (which I did with a bit charcoal on paper, you might be surprised to know...not really).

Throw all these fine ingredients into a biig pot bring to the boil, stir and let simmer for about a day... then strain, sift and declare it finished (otherwise it just takes up to much time).

Now then that's one side of the card. Next: the other side.
As type is the other big part of the work I produce I thought I'd do a bit of custom type for the back. Not too much though, because the thinking and pondering and philophisising about the theme for the card had already taken way too much time. Anyway here are the sketches of type I did for the back.

The arrow I did in the sketch was too flowy and weak looking, so I straightened it out, because it would also suite the overall look and feel (the industrial and DIY thing) of the card. Which is also the reason I made the type and arrow look a bit weathered.

Et Voilá. I can now safely move offices without being afraid everybody will forget about me... I hope.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Horror show

Not too long ago, I was asked by Erik Kriek if I wanted to show some work at an exhibition he was (or rather is) curating. I happily obliged because this woul be good reason to finish the painting I have been working of too long now, and get some ideas for drawings out aswell...
Speaking of which...
These are two of the illustration I'm going to exhibit. They are part of a series of either three or five, not sure about that yet.

I want to have them screen printed on some nice paper and ona decent size too... both of which are to be decided later.
For the exact dates of the exhibition kep you greedy eye-balls peeled to this station.

Some more of my ADIDAS

These are some of final color Adidas print-ads in the differen languages.
To save space I constructed this nifty gif animation (plus this prevents you from getting too close a look and noticing all kinds of ugly details).